174C-101 Native Hawaiian water rights. (a) Provisions of this chapter shall not be construed to amend or modify rights or entitlements to water as provided for by the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, 1920, as amended, and by chapters 167 and 168, relating to the Molokai irrigation system. Decisions of the commission on water resource management relating to the planning for, regulation, management, and conservation of water resources in the State shall, to the extent applicable and consistent with other legal requirements and authority, incorporate and protect adequate reserves of water for current and foreseeable development and use of Hawaiian home lands as set forth in section 221 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act.

(b) No provision of this chapter shall diminish or extinguish trust revenues derived from existing water licenses unless compensation is made.

(c) Traditional and customary rights of ahupua`a tenants who are descendants of native Hawaiians who inhabited the Hawaiian Islands prior to 1778 shall not be abridged or denied by this chapter. Such traditional and customary rights shall include, but not be limited to, the cultivation or propagation of taro on one's own kuleana and the gathering of hihiwai, opae, o`opu, limu, thatch, ti leaf, aho cord, and medicinal plants for subsistence, cultural, and religious purposes.

(d) The appurtenant water rights of kuleana and taro lands, along with those traditional and customary rights assured in this section, shall not be diminished or extinguished by a failure to apply for or to receive a permit under this chapter. [L 1987, c 45, pt of 2; am L 1991, c 325, 8]

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